Moscow Culture Lab
Learn Russian, Live Moscow!
SRAS cultural programs are designed to give you a wide introduction to your city and to Russia as a whole. These structured experiences are laid-back, educational, and an opportunity for students to get to know each other.
Outside the Kremlin walls
as seen on the SRAS
Moscow Walking Tour!
Visiting Anton Chekhov's
grave at the Novodevichy
In our experience, however, most students prefer to save on the costs of organized activities and to have mostly free time – to study, to peruse independent interests, and to spend time with the friends they make from around the world while in Russia.
To strike a balance between these needs and wants, we offer several core activities, attendance to which is required and the cost of which is included in most programs (see the individual program pages for details). We also offer several optional experiences which are available at additional cost.
1. Typically Included Events
Walking Seminar: The Origins of Modern Russia
You will learn what modern Russia is and how it became so. This eclectic walking seminar covers economics, culture, politics, law, demographics, and religion, using the streets and landmarks of modern Moscow as starting points for our conversations. Russia post-1989 is our focus, although the entire expanse of Russian history is taken into account. This tour also strives to: 1) prepare you for life in a very country with a different history and culture than your own; 2) help you understand modern Russia and why it is so different. We hope in this way, you can better understand your new home, mitigate the effects of culture shock, and better learn from your experiences abroad.
Living and Working in Russia Seminar
We meet at a Georgian restaurant to sample some of the tastiest dishes from the former Soviet Union. We discuss in detail how one obtains the necessary documentation to live and work long-term in Russia. We then, with several invited guests, hold an open discussion on searching for jobs and housing, navigating the often-arduous Russian bureaucracy, and prospects in the Russian economy. Invited guests have included members of the US Foreign Service, and foreigners involved in research, entrepreneurship, management, finance, translation, and teaching English in Russia. There are considerable opportunities for Americans who speak Russian to find jobs abroad – or even in America – if you know where to look!
Politics in Russia Seminar
This one-time seminar will offer a brief overview of Russia’s political parties, their platforms, and their leaders, giving you insight into names to watch for in the Russian news. Recent political events, including Pussy Riot, attempts at military reform, the 2011 Duma elections and the current state of the protest movement that they helped spark will also be discussed. Finally, the wider social, economic, and political issues that major demographic groups of Russians often base their votes on will also be touched upon.
This guided tour walks you behind the Kremlin's red walls. The tour may include the armory or the diamond fund. It includes the surrounding cathedrals and Kremlin grounds. The armory and diamond fund are former treasure-houses of the Kremlin that still contains royal gifts and other riches from czarist times. The armoury also contains military hardware, clothing, and carriages. The surrounding ensemble of cathedrals, with their touring spires and shining domes provide a still wider backdrop for your guide to discuss the history that has shaped modern Russia. For more information, see the museum website.
Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery
Everything you've learned about Russia will never seem more real. We explore this sixteenth-century convent for a brief discussion of Russia's political and religious history. We then move to the adjoining cemetery where you will find everyone from Chekhov to Gogol, Khrushchev to Yeltsin, Tolstoy to Mayakovsky, Stanislavsky to Gorky, and Tupolev to Molotov.
Each semester, students are treated to one cultural performance. In this past, this has generally been a ballet such as Swan Lake, Giselle, or The Bright Stream. However, based on requests and scheduling, this could also be a puppet show, circus, jazz performance or even concerts by modern groups. Let us know what your interests are!
||Broaden your horizons
even further! Choosing a
program in Moscow
doesn't have to mean
missing St. Petersburg!
2. Optional Events
Trip out of Moscow
Each semester, we offer at least one day trip to a smaller city outside of Moscow. This trip is optional and not included in your program costs, but is generally somewhere between $40 and $80. In the past, locations have included Sergiev Posad, Tver, Star City, Abamstevo, and Borovosk. Options are generally open, so tell your SRAS consultant if you have requests!
This optional trip brings you to St. Petersburg for two to three days, depending on school schedules. Cost differs by semester, but usually ranges between $300-400 and includes train fare, hostel accommodations, and our St. Petersburg Walking Tour and Tour of the Hermitage (see our St. Petersburg Cultural Program for more information on these tours).
Your Moscow coordinator will keep a close eye on events and let you know of other unique tours such as to the Taganskaya Cold War Bunker or the Bulgakov Tour, exciting Russian cultural events such as Maslenitsa festivities, the annual Honey Festival, expat functions such Fourth of July celebrations and Democrats Abroad meetings, and interesting seminars. These events are often available at little or no cost.
Find Out More!
Health and Safety in Russia
The SRAS Newsletter
Library: All About Russian
Eurasian Regions and Cities
Journal for Students
More Free Resources!
Questions or comments?